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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bettor's Delight

Bettor’s Delight is. Without a doubt, the most prolific sire to come down from his granddad Cam Fella. It is his sire Cam’s Card Shark, not Camluck, Cambest, Precious Bunny, Fake Left, Goalie Jeff, Pacific Fella, or any of the others, who has extended Cam Fella in a meaningful way into the second decade of the twenty-first century in North America. Bettor’s Delight is a three-for: he has dominated the lucrative NYSS for years; he is more than competitive on the Grand Circuit; and he is a major player in the day to day sector.

Seventeen-year-old Bettor’s Delight, who will see his eleventh crop race this year, is the leading money-winning sire among pacers of all-ages in North America in 2015, with more than $7 million earned. He is also the leading money winning sire among three-year-old pacers. Overall, his offspring have earned more than $126 million.

Mosquito Blue Chip, who won the $225,000 Night of Champions pace last year; Steve Elliott’s Not Before Eight, who won a split of the Watson at Yonkers the other night; and Bettorhaveanother, are a few of this year’s productive sophomore fillies, while, My Spirit Soars, National Seelster, J Eagle Feather and A Bettor Hat are a few of the better colts.

Sunday there were three $30,000 splits of the NYSS for sophomore colt pacers at Vernon Downs. Eleven of the 29 starters were by Bettor’s Delight and three of the four divisions were won by his sons. This is the norm. His 2015 freshman crop, which numbered 98, will race in the Ontario sire stakes program. And in 2016 and 2017 the peripatetic stallion’s freshmen will have a go at the crew in Pennsylvania. Then it will be back to Ontario. This shiftless lifestyle is of no concern to BD: for the first dozen years of his career he averaged 111 registered foals.

Bettor’s Delight has 10 standard millionaires and three double-millionaires based in North America. (He also has three singles and a double Down Under).  The outstanding FFA pacer, Bettor Sweet, who won the Breeders Crown twice, is the richest male. Darlin’s Delight and Southwind Tempo, both of whom won their division at three, are the two fillies. Worldwide he has 56 $500,000 winners and 332 $100,000 winners. To put that in perspective, Dragon Again, who is three years older, and known more for his hard hitting aged stock—Wakizashi notwithstanding—than his Grand Circuit types, has 26 $500,000 winners and 97 $100,000 winners.

Cam Fella is responsible for the three all-age world records by Cambest, Bettor’s Delight’s paternal brother Holborn Hanover and Bettor’s Delight’s daughter, the retired Shebestingin, who holds a 1:47 mark. The Most Happy Fella branch running through No Nukes, Western Hanover, Western Ideal, Rocknroll and American ideal is more accomplished, but Cam’s crew still holds the speed marks.

See You At Peelers, who won 22 in a row, and won her division at two and three, is Bettor’s Delight’s most accomplished horse in North America. She won the Breeders Crown, Fan Hanover, Tarport Hap and Valley Forge, and beat the boys in the Rooney. The super star son is missing: the top earning son is incomplete; number two and three slots on the money chart are occupied by mares; the most accomplished offspring is a filly.

Betterthancheddar, who is standing his second season in Ontario (first was in NY), is his fastest complete son. He won the Breeders Crown and Cane at three and took the Franklin in a world record 1:48 at four. He did not race at two. Cheddar bred 68 mares at a $4,500 fee his first season, in New York. This year $1,000 was lopped off his fee when he moved North. Bettor’s Delight has no Rocknroll Hanover or Captaintreacherous to carry the ball for him; the markedly  inbred Cheddar is his premier stallion.

Of course, Bettor’s Delight’s full brother Roll With Joe, who will unveil his first race crop this year, will also have every opportunity to extend Cam’s Card Shark, and in turn, Cam Fella.

All Bets Off was the archetypal Bettor’s Delight colt. Last year he won the Messenger, Rooney and Milstein on the Grand Circuit, and he won NYSS races at Yonkers, Monticello and Vernon Downs. And he took the Confederation Cup this year. Ron Burke is a master when it comes to playing a colt like this in both sectors simultaneously. Vegas Vacation serves as another good example. He won the high dollar EBC restricted stake in New York, as well as the Jug, Simcoe and Matron.

Aside from Vegas Vacation; Fashion Delight, Bullville Powerful, Kenneth J, Shebestingin, Bettor B Lucky, Peelers and Indulge Me all augmented their GC income with EBC wins.

As a broodmare sire Bettor’s Delight hasn’t yet hit the lottery. Age is obviously a major factor here, and his best days should be ahead of him. Messenger winner Ronny Bugatti (Art Major) is the top money maker in this group. Emeritus Maximus, Fast And Feisty, Ultimate Beachboy and The Real One round out the top five. That Messenger win by Ronny, in a track record 1:51.2, is the only open stakes win for this crew. It’s fair to say that BD is off to a slow start as a broodmare sire.

As great a career as Bettor’s Delight has had as a stallion, he hasn’t come close to reproducing himself. He won his division twice, at two and three; captured the BC, Governor’s Cup and Nassagaweya at two; and won the Jug and Tattersalls Pace at three. None of his sons have come close to matching that record. What Muscles Yankee did with Muscle Hill, Bettor’s Delight hasn’t come close to doing.

He has no North America Cup or Meadowlands Pace winners. Vegas Vacation, who only won once at two and didn’t race at four, won the Jug, as well as the Matron. He has no Tattersalls Pace, Adios or Battle Of Brandywine winners.

Cheddar won the Breeders Crown at three and the Franklin in world record time the following year, but having no history at two and a narrow period of top tier performances at three, hurts. Bettor Sweet, a half -brother to Sweet Lou, won the BC twice in his aged form as well as the Bettor’s Delight/Roll With Joe, but the Progress Pace was his only significant open won at three.

Tuffofthetoughest took the Hempt, while Kenneth J won splits of the Bluegrass and ISS. Island Delight also won the latter. All Bets Off won the Messenger, Rooney, Milstein and Matron. All in all, in North America, the males excel at restricted racing and overnights. They are good, but not great, on the Grand Circuit.

The fillies have fared very well on the open stakes circuit: Peelers, Soutwind Tempo, Darlin’s Delight, Bettor B Lucky, Shebestingin, Eternity’s Delight, Table Talk, JK Black, JK Owhatanite and others have more than held their own.

Bettor’s Delight just needs to knock one out of the park, with a complete son, to put the finishing touches on his legacy.

Joe FitzGerald


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